Horoscopes | Week of May 23-29, 2016

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Turns out, you aren't as far along into this next chapter of life as you might've thought you were, Aries. That awareness is only barely beginning to make itself known, so please don't rebelliously refuse to accept the truth in what I'm sharing… and, instead, try to 'cut through the bullshit' (which is merely a curt phrase meant to downplay the importance of someone else's extenuating concerns) by demanding to 'move forward' one way or the other right now. My astrological clock tells me you can't authentically advance until you finish working through some still-unresolved contentiousness, negotiating an as-yet-unattained agreement about some financial or psychological intricacies, investigating that pesky worry or forbidden desire you can't seem to shake, and/or reaching internal consensus among your conflicting feelings. So… yeah, there's that. This clearing-out of these last vestiges of unsettling-and-thus-unsettled business is slated to take many more weeks (which, swear to God, is actually desirable so that it'll be truly-and-comprehensively cathartic and you won't have to go back there ever again). In the short-term, then, odd as it may sound, you might as well settle in right where you are… and find plenty of entertainingly undemanding social encounters to happily fill your time with, all the while.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20): As you prepare to reengage whatever complications, confusions, or relational standoffs which (if you followed my recent advice) you temporarily took a break from, Taurus, your best first-step would be to simply reiterate your position in a non-grasping, non-greedy tone. No matter your underlying suspicions about where their viewpoint might ultimately land, you should begin by granting the other party a clean slate in terms of your expectations of how they'll receive you. Don't proceed with criticisms, defenses, or attacks, as if you already anticipate being challenged or rebuffed. Define the issue positively, with first-person statements about what you acknowledge, endorse, and/or wish to see happen—before addressing any unresolved dissent from former conversations. Maybe they didn't understand what you meant the last time around, or maybe they were just in a pissy-ass mood that day. Maybe they've changed their mind. Let's not assume the worst of them, even if that's exactly what they eventually end up displaying. This is the point at which you're ready to get down to handling this business, once and for all. If you can't make it functionally work after another episode of earnest effort, perhaps this partnership isn't all it first seemed to promise.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20): 'Hallelujah!' exclaims the Gemini, upon hearing that bringer-of-beautiful-things Venus arrives to your sign early in the week (on Tue May 24), for a 3-week stint of primping your aura with a couple extra coats of magnetized pizzazz-dust. During this Venus visit, please remember you needn't try very hard to impress anybody or win them over. Your natural way-of-being should do the job for you, at least insofar as the other person is genuinely into who you genuinely are. I mention this, in part, as a continuance of last week's advice about waiting on any irreversible passion-powered relationship moves: That aforementioned risk of going too far too fast with someone extends through the first few days of this week, gradually tapering off until Mars retrogrades out of your 7th on Friday (May 27). How about this as an alternate relational strategy, then? Over the weeks to come, I suggest you return to what you'd been earnestly working on before this whole interpersonal hullaballoo took over your attention—and watch how smoothly or jarringly this relational involvement meshes with your now-becoming-quite-essential need to meet your other obligations (especially related to work, health, and day-to-day self-management). Rather than forcing a next move, why not see what naturally emerges… while you invest that 'forceful' energy into those tangible to-dos which are due to demand more of you?


CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you're quietly surveying the other possibilities while diligently meeting your day-to-day duties (rather than just working like a fiend, then shutting yourself off), Cancer, this week should begin to uncover the appearance of a magic door… which opens up into a secret passage… which might just weave and wind its way somewhere else you'd probably enjoy spending some future spare-time checking out, for reasons not necessarily comprehensible at the moment (as they're likely not grounded in purpose-driven logic, as much as existential curiosity). With a mystical observation like this, I suppose there isn't much practical advice to give other than, obviously, to reserve enough room in your consciousness (beyond the incessant internal indexing of 'items still to do') so you're willing and able to notice any twinkling peripheral-vision summonses, instinctual directives, and/or seductive winks from the spirit-world which might surprisingly capture your interest. Noticing is sufficient for now; your attention will allow the curiosity to grow. Meanwhile, back in the mundane world, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pick back up any recent ongoing conversations with friends, colleagues, or community-mates which might further cement or strengthen your place in the group.


LEO (July 23-August 22): Please forgo any impulse to overtly challenge the conventional wisdom, separate yourself from the pack, and/or argue with your peers, Leo… at least for the time being. You may eventually decide you must stray from the party-line and go it alone, in order to properly honor your desire for critical creative ownership, but now isn't quite the prime moment for divergent self-expression. I wouldn't want you to mistake this passing surge of generally contrarian individualism as a strong need for this specific situation to transpire in just that certain manner you'd most prefer. The current astrology implies you've still got some inwardly-aimed soul-searching in store over the weeks ahead… a conscious re-immersion in the emotion-unpacking self-reflectiveness which washed over you during the opening couple months of '16, to help you better discern between (1) the apparent drive to take some obvious external action that immediately asserts your agency in a particular matter and (2) the overarching need for inner self-possession (on the level of asserting your right to establish and maintain strong emotional boundaries) which underlies it. In other words, you could unconsciously create a battle-of-wills in your social world over an issue that maybe isn't as contentious as it feels to you, if you don't realize this 'battle' is merely a cover for some internal discontentment you haven't quite worked out. Until it is better worked-out, keep things cool with the other players.


VIRGO (August 23-September 22): With Venus hitting your 10th on Tuesday (May 24), Virgo, these next three-to-four weeks present you a stellar chance to welcome unfamiliar characters, fresh directives, alternative strategies, and/or additional avenues for achieving continued success on the career (and/or outside-world) front. After a sustained bout of brooding on deep reflections about existence, purpose, and other such matters-of-serious-import, you're being invited back onto the lively stage of human interactivity… where, if all goes as you ought to let it, you'll have a chance to expose yourself to a bunch of new influences and data-sets that can't help but bust you out of any overly rigid or restrictive thinking, by their very nature of varying from what's you've already run through a hundred times before. Don't rule anything out, especially not at this fledgling stage of the concept-incubation process. Instead, if you have questions or concerns, you should go ahead and voice them… not in a dismissive or disdainful tone, please, but in the sincere spirit of opening a lengthier collaborative discussion about possibilities and problems, pros and cons, maybe this or perhaps that. There's a direct connection between (1) your willing participation in continuing conversations, rather than shutting them down, and (2) your ability to take fullest personal advantage of this professionally (and/or publicly) lucky interval.


LIBRA (September 23-October 22): You're gradually moving out of the 'batting ideas around' stage, Libra… and into a place where the principles you've determined should govern any imminent decision-making, based on what you find to be the most important criteria, are now ready to be duly communicated. From mid-week onward, it'll be time for you to lay it on the line. No truly fruitful partnership, collaboration, or joining-together-of-interests will develop unless you unequivocally ask for what you need to feel satisfied and secure—whether it's the same set of requirements you had three months ago, or whether you've lately realized what you previously overlooked and must now include. Without question, the hardest and scariest part about being in this spot is accepting the rather cut-and-dry lack of ambiguity at the heart of your feelings. Despite the innate fair-minded considerateness you typically bring to interpersonal negotiations, at this point, there's little-to-no grey area when it comes to your capacity for full-fledged participation. Either you're able to strike an agreement that's in line with what you believe to be correct for you, or you're not. In the weeks to come, you'll either move forward with one another or (hopefully) accept there's no further to go together. Either way, you'll be fine… if you're honoring your integrity.


SCORPIO (October 23-November 21): On Friday (May 27), a still-very-much-retrograde Mars backslides into your sign, Scorpio, after having spent the past nearly-three months in your solar 2nd, where it sought seemingly whatever methods might rapidly raise your stock, pad your pocketbook, and/or improve your practical standing. But the fact that it's now revisiting your 1st—and retracing steps it took during the last half of February and first week of March—you may be finding your latest get-rich-quick scheme, fake-it-'til-you-make boldness, or back-to-basics reality-check is not completely working as effectively as you'd hoped. The main hitch? A matter of personal desire. You might not want to do the thing you'd previously convinced yourself was the most 'sensible' option. Or you could be rightfully resistant to some compromise of autonomy, self-empowerment, or passion you'd be expected to make, in order to 'play it by the book'. You don't have to figure out exactly how to integrate (1) what your survival-needs dictate with (2) what your free-to-be-me spirit is telling you it craves, not right away. But to prevent future problems, you must at least admit there's a streak of steadfast self-determination in you which won't be easily traded in for so-called 'security'. Slowly begin fact-finding inquiries into what alternative types of less-cut-and-dry agreements you might reach that would also leave certain other options on the table simultaneously.


SAGITTARIUS (November 22-December 21): After nearly three months (!) of hosting Mars in your sign, Sagittarius—over a month of which featured a retrograde Mars, including last week's climactic conjunction to the full moon—you must accept that still-backwards-headed Mars now retreats back into your solar 12th (where it was throughout January and February). Consequently, please prepare to lose a good chunk of your recent momentum. The progress you've lately made is unlikely to vanish… though, to a certain degree, it will be on hold as you necessarily work through some bewitching knot of unprocessed hurt, resentment, or spite you neglected to totally untangle the last time it reared its ugly head. Put another way, there remains some intangible, elusive desire lurking in your psyche—to prove your worth, to even a score, to put someone else in their place, to win the whole fucking game—that's too indistinguishably tied up with your more-straightforward aspirations for your own integrative good, and it's your job between now and the beginning of August to get to the bottom of it. (Here's your first hint: If the glee you experience when meeting a goal also involves reminiscences of defeats, disappointments, discouragements, or sabotages, your spiritual currents are still being clogged by the past.) With Venus now in your 7th through mid-June, your most helpful tool in starting to sort this shit out will be your closest partner(s). Just be with them, without expectation to do anything in particular.


CAPRICORN (December 22-January 19): As I mentioned in your last edition, Capricorn, this will be a transitional week… during which you'll shift out of this relative immobility and/or ineffectualness (though of course things have still been happening, albeit seemingly imperceptibly) and back into the proverbial game. By week's end, in fact, you should detect a renewed zeal for that industrious buzz which accompanies constructive multi-tasking magnificence. You might even find you're so enthusiastic about being back in the saddle, it's hard to know which bundle of tasks to dive into first. Let me suggest, then, that you start with those items which don't rely on other people's feedback, require their sign-off, or unduly impact what they're doing. Meanwhile, you should also gradually begin the extended process of checking back in with those folks whose involvement will, at some point, become necessary—or perhaps, on the other hand, will ultimately prove incompatible once you compare notes, propose competing approaches, and identify unbridgeable differences, though how it'll all shake out remains to be seen. Over the past few months, these social alliances (and, more importantly, your attitude towards them) may well have veered from their prior status-quo. It's still a bit too early to determine with whom your best-interests are safest, and/or not.


AQUARIUS (January 20-February 18): The transition which occurs over the course of this upcoming week, Aquarius, both (1) immediately ups your capacity for having lots of lighter-hearted good-times and (2) ushers in a serious second-look at whether your latest professional (and/or public-sphere) strivings are getting you where you wish to go. There's not much to say about that first shift, other than to make the most of it. You're likelier to actually enjoy being out-and-about, chatty, flirtatious, and fun-loving than you've recently been... and not only do these obvious rewards speak for themselves, but they may also serve as great inspiration for your creative self (who, after recently having needed more inwardly-directed cocooning, should now welcome the fresh input). The second matter, however, is both a bigger deal and a longer-term exercise. With retrograde Mars sliding back into your solar 10th (where it'll stay through the duration of the retrograde and into early August), you're slated to reexamine questions of passion, desire, ambition, and/or power in your long-range career (or outside-world) efforts—not from the perspective of 'what makes sense' according to some abstract analysis of your existing string of experiences, accomplishments, and qualifications, but by feeling. What truly feels worth all these efforts? Even in light of any potential accolades and acknowledgments you might earn, you still must really want to do this thing considering how much work will be required.


PISCES (February 19-March 20): Presuming you've (mostly) kept up appearances, met the customary expectations, and exhibited general responsibility, Pisces, you're now astrologically primed to more thoroughly enjoy your personal-time hours off the hot seat. Hopefully, therefore, you can pivot your attention away from any brewing clashes with the establishment (and/or any particularly irksome representative of its entrenched rule)… not because you don't still potentially have a well-founded axe to grind and/or benchmark to strive for, but in due-diligence to the fundamental ethics at stake, which require a fuller look. This isn't an urgent assignment you're being given, by the way: Questions about whether or not this current organizational structure, strategic plan, or chain-of-command can satisfying align with your integrity-rooted values will reveal their nuanced results gradually during these upcoming months. No need to poke your finger in anyone's chest and insist on answers. As you focus more on providing yourself the comfort, care, and merriment that affirms how wonderful life can and should be, you'll be better able to tell which specific sectors and circumstances are unfortunately out of sync with your otherwise self-affirming rhythms. From that perspective, you'll see it's not about what anyone else is doing 'wrong'… but about how you need to do things so they're right for you.